Thursday, February 7, 2008

On Buying a Car

I left my house tonight to walk to church—it was one of those clearish nights after a day of rain that makes the roads glisten, but that doesn't really matter since I was walking not driving. Also, it was hot today everywhere since the air conditioners aren't on, so it was nice that there was a little bit of a chill in the fresh evening air. It was hoodie weather, but only just barely, since when the leftover wind got to blowing it would make you tense up. I live up on a hill and it has been real wet recently, so the excess water runs off right across our street in little rivers (and big puddles where it isn't level anymore).

When I hit the street, I reached down to turn on my iPod, but instead of looking through the list of new podcasts I accidentally flicked the play button and the thing started on the first song by the first band alphabetically: "Lost in Love" by Air Supply. Now, I don't usually listen to music when I'm walking because I consider the iPod a more convenient way to do what I usually do when I walk, which is read (you try reading to the light of passing headlights!), but when I heard the opening notes of that song picked out on an acoustic guitar and when I imagined all to come—the electric piano, the synthesized strings, the backing falsettos, the graham cracker voice of Graham Russell alternating with the higher marshmallow coo of Russell Hitchcock, and the shooting-star sweeps of a synthesizer interlude—I had to go on listening.

But I wanted to do more than that. I wanted to belt it out, to close my eyes on the long notes and wink at the girl in the front row of my imaginary audience on the sweet lines, to clench my fist in sincerity when I assured her, "You know you can't fool me / I've been loving you too long." I wanted karaoke; I needed a car stereo. Is it just me who feels this way, every day, in public?

Last week or so someone at the office said something about the band Foreigner—actually, they could've been saying something about the play The Foreigner or something about someone from a distant land; I don't know, because as soon as I heard that word I jumped up on my chair and started wailing, "You're as cold as ice! You're willing to sacrifice our love!"

Have you seen this before? Does this happen all the time, or is it just me who is overcome with the desire to sing out, loud, out loud? And what can I do about it? Should I buy a car?

The other day I was working on a computer in the office when Leo walked by singing the "na na na" part of Led Zeppelin's "The Ocean." I joined him with the harmony on the second time through. It was a bonding moment.


(listen to Air Supply here; listen to Led Zeppelin here.)

21 comments:

Special K said...

mmm. yes. it's one of major benefits of having a car -- singing at full volume in a private mobile pod -- definitely one of life's great pleasures.

Anonymous said...

What you describe sounds much like a Disney version of Tourette Syndrome.

David Grover said...

Who anonymously comments something like that? Are you hiding out from Disney? Did you make some snarky comments about their decline in the last decade and now they're searching the internet for you?

Anonymous said...

I wrote an entire term paper on the government of Disney. They’ve been after me ever since. No animation company can ever hope to produce something as grand as The Lion King. It’s the Titanic of animation films. Pocahontas is also great. Beauty and the Beast is good. It lacks adventure. The Little Mermaid is just manipulative trash playing to the rebellious side of little girls everywhere, but it does have great songs. Sorry you are so high-strung about anonymity. Since that is the case, you can consider this my last comment. I wouldn’t want to throw you into another song and dance now, would I?

David Grover said...

Holy crap--is this Garrett?

Anonymous said...

you wish.

David Grover said...

Man, I have this memory of talking with someone about their conspiracy theories concerning Walt Disney--for some reason I picture it happening in Provo, near the top of the JSB stairs. The person in my memory is almost frantic about the topic, but I can't quite remember their face. Who was it? Why does that post feel so cryptic, like it's got a hidden message in it?

Anonymous said...

We all have hidden messages. Disney's hidden messages revolve around romantic commercialism. In the case of your post, I don't know. Only your id can answer that.

David Grover said...

I'm beginning to think you're my id. You're freaking me out.

This also freaks me out: Earlier, when you said I could this your last comment, I had no way of disproving or even of accepting that statement. Either you could post under your real name and I might never know you were the same poster as before, or you could continue posting anonymously and I could never know if you were the same anonymous poster as before or another person merely assuming the guise of the previous poster.

If you are indeed my subconscious self, you could also claim to be a new person and thus to be posting for the first time, for from day to day and even moment to moment I become a new person, a revised self, conscious of but separate from the one that came before.

Anonymous said...

consious of and separate from are not mutually exclusive. However are we ever really consious. To be completely consious would be ablosute madness. The more consious I become, the more insane I become. The more ready to go on medication in hopes of drowing out the consiousness. Who wants consiousness? Who wants to be completely aware of every flaw? Not I, I say, NOT I!

You cannot possibly claim consiousness.

David Grover said...

Oh, you're not my id after all. Who are you, I wonder.

Anonymous said...

You are never seperate from the person you were before! You are who you are today because of the past, you cannot be revised if you claim to be seperate! You would have to make an entirely NEW draft for that to happen. No red marks, no eraser. You would need a whole new start. Does that happen to you, moment to moment?

Anonymous said...

Do you honestly claim full consiousness?

David Grover said...

Wouldn't you like to know?

Anonymous said...

I am enraged at the thought of such pride and vanity. I agree, consiousness should be our aim so that we might perfect ourselves. I must have let rage get away with me in that last comment. I just don't believe your "consiousness" is anything but a metaphysical wish.

David Grover said...

Well I just don't believe a non-entity such as yourself should be questioning real people like me, on issues of consciousness or anything else. Look at you! You're a hollow, person-shaped icon next to no name at all. You could be Mrs. White (in cyberspace, with the existential dilemma) with that androgynous little game token body of yours, but somehow I doubt it. Look at me! I'm wearing overalls and a corduroy blazer, and I have a little B next to my name for "Brother" as in "I've got one and he's in this picture with me," or "Boy" as in "Boy, I sure am glad I'm a real person," or maybe even "Blimey" as in "Blimey, it's my bedtime!"

Well goodnight, Mr. or Mrs. Nonymous. Let's misunderstand each other again tomorrow.

(are you Katie? K and I used to have the most wonderful internet disagreements.)

Anonymous said...

I also type in ragged fury not paying attention to grammar or spelling. So no, I am probably not your id. Or maybe I am .. maybe I am the child within all grammarians wishing to throw off convention and just run (metaphorically) down the spiral staircase wielding semicolons and sarcasm.

Who am I? Consciousness? Wouldn't you like to know?

Anonymous said...

Why did you and this "K" stop fighting? Did she beat you? I hope so. It would do wonders on that conscious pride of yours.

Anonymous said...

I just read some of your posts today. I refer now to Sept 30th. What is it you mean exactly by “lesser beings?” Do you really mean that, or are you just feigning pretention? How do you live one day with such disdain for your fellow man? Are you not a writer? Do you not SEE the worth in people, all people? Or are you more of a Hemingway, Beckett, Nietzche? Life is tragedy and all that bullocks. Where is the Emerson in you, my lad? Where is the Dickens? Where is your Room with a View? And why does it overlook only vistas of inferiority? Where is the love? I might be a non-entity, a blip in the fabric of blogospheric energies, a white space shoved into corners of broken glasses, but at least I’m a non-being with a hope in life, that every man can think, can learn to think, can become. What ever happened to equality? I am distraught, young man, that you would be so bold as to declare such a loathing for persons whom you hardly know, obviously don’t care for, and will never love based on your predjudices. Of what do you write if not the human condition? Nature? A hill? A fly? Something that doesn’t offend by mental stagnation? And how do you ever expect to grasp such a vast premise if you continue to see your mear existential world this way? Life is wonderful! People are wonderful! I once met a coal miner who became a world famous artist in his later years. I also met a man while riding a horse. He was once working directly under a member of the senate (not to be named) until one business outing turned him to horses instead. Just because one man’s dream is, say, the perfect flavor of ice cream instead of the perfect metaphor doesn’t make him lesser, does it? You never know those you will meet. You never know those you have met. You never know what they might become, especially when you consider your previous revisionist remark. You confuse me, a man filled with so much energy, and yet so much contempt.

Who do you know, I wonder? Not I.

(Is life, in this way, who we know and not what? What we know is always linked, somehow, to a person.)

I say again, not I!

But again, what is there to know from what you have described? For to you I must always remain a white space, inkless, made for others who star blindly at ceilings never thinking. Good luck, I fear you shall never know me. How could you? I hope I have misunderstood.

Jennifer said...

The real Disney conspiracy: THEY HATE MOTHERS!! Check it out - they are always killing them off, starting with Snow White. The only moms are evil stepmoms, which is SO messed up! Mufasa had a mom, but no dad. Pocohontos - no mom. Little Mermaid - no mom. Bambi - mom is KILLED. Beauty - no mom. Cinderella - no mom, (or dad). Jasmine - no mom. There are some moms, it is true. They are usually absent. Like Hercules' parents are both afar as are Sleeping BEauty's. Disney has parent issues. How many orphaned stories are there, exactly? Do a count! Single parents, no parents, absent parents. Something is seriously wrong here.

Anonymous said...

Yes! This "Jennifer" is totally brill!

Disney is parental anarchy!